Hike the Salkantay Trek 4 days, the second most popular trek to Machu Picchu, included in the top 25 hiking tours in the world by National Geographic Adventure Travel magazine. For 4 days you will explore the high mountains towards the lush cloud forest where Machu Picchu is located. Enjoy our real camping experience tours with comfortable tents and hot showers!
The Classic Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu for 4 days and 3 nights is the second most popular route to Machu Picchu after the Classic Inca Trail and one of the most spectacular treks in Peru and the world. It is also the most challenging and adventurous tour that we offer at Sacred Expeditions Peru. You will be able to see the Humantay Lake, the snowy mountains, the cloud forest, the coffee farms, learn how to cook Pachamanca and finish the trek in Machu Picchu.
Details of the trip:
Price per person
To reserve the Salkantay Trek Classic, you must make an initial payment of 50 USD per person, the remaining balance can be paid online, in installments or in Cusco with any credit card without any reservation fee.
Discount for students:
All travelers under the age of 17 will get $40. If you are 25 or younger when you travel, you can get the $40 discount with your student ID. Please notify us by email to give you a code for the discount.
Summary day by day of the Salkantay Trek 4 days
Day 1: Cusco – Humantay Lagoon – Salkantay Pampa (16km, 8hrs)
We pick you up at your hotel located in Cusco and travel for 3 hours to the trailhead. After breakfast, we walk for 3 hours following an ancient aqueduct until we reach Soraypampa, where we will have lunch. We hike for 2 hours to Laguna Humantay (4200m) and camp near the Salkantay mountain at 3900m in the afternoon.
Day 2: Base camp -Hayrajpunku – Collpapampa (18km, 9hrs)
Wake up with a cup of coffee or tea and enjoy breakfast with the mountains, then trek to the Salkantay pass at 4630mts for 3 hours and two more for lunch. The second part is a 3-hour descent to the second camp at 2,770 meters.
Day 3: Collpapampa – Hydroelectric- Aguas Calientes (16km, 8hrs)
Wake up in your tent, have breakfast and start hiking along the cloud forest for 3 hours visiting local villages, coffee farms and prepare a unique Pachamanca with your chef. After lunch, we will take a 3-hour walk from the Hidroelectica to Aguas Calientes to spend the night in a hotel.
Day 4: Machu Picchu (Beat the crowds!) – 4 hours
After breakfast, we take the first buses to Machu Picchu for sunrise, visit the Intipunku or the Inca Bridge, and then explore Machu Picchu with your guide. Once you finish, you will take the panoramic train and the bus back to your hotel in Cusco.
Complete itinerary of the Classic Salkantay Trek 4 days 3 nights
Day 1: Cusco hotel – Humantay lake – Salkantay base camp (16km, 8hrs)
We will pick you up from your hotel between 4:30 am (depending on your location) and take you to the trailhead. After breakfast, we will start a 3-hour hike to Soraypampa (3600 m), following an ancient aqueduct that supplies water to lowland farmers. Lunch is served in the village of Soraypampa by its trekking chef. After enjoying the well-deserved lunch, we will start a 2-hour climb to the Humantay Lagoon (4200 m / 13779 ft). Along the way, you’ll see a variety of flora and fauna, such as the Andean goose (the birds of love), deer, and vizcachas (which look a lot like a rabbit). Next, we will continue climbing for two more hours to reach Salkantay Pampa (3900 m / 12795 ft). Once at the camp, we will have the tents ready, we will have tea time, we will have dinner and then we will be able to look at the stars before going to sleep.
Day 2: Salkantay base camp -Hayrajpunku – Collpapampa (18km, 9hrs)
We will wake you up early with a cup of hot coca coffee or tea. As you leave your tent, a beautiful landscape made up of vast plains and snow-capped peaks awaits you. We will enjoy the impressive views of the highest mountains in Peru. After breakfast, we will start ascending to the highest point of our trek, the Salkantay Pass (4630m/15190ft). At the top we will take time to explore the fantastic landscapes, including a beautiful lake at the base of this majestic mountain. It will be another 3 hour downhill hike to the lunch spot at Wayracmachay (3800m/ 12467ft) from the top. After lunch, we will begin to descend from the mountains into the cloud forest, experiencing one of the fastest changes in temperature and weather. Along the way we will see an abundance of different types of flowers, hummingbirds and orchids until reaching Colpapampa, located at 2770 meters.
Tonight we will stay next to a small town.
Day 3: Collpapampa – Hydroelectric – Aguas Calientes (16km, 8hrs)
Day 3 is possibly the most beautiful of Salkantay Sacred Expeditions Peru! After enjoying a delicious breakfast, we will hike for about 3 hours to Lucmabamba (2000m/6600ft). We will join a Pachamanca cooking demonstration and traditional cooking methods, vegetables, fruits with hot stones. You will actively participate in the preparation of this unique delicacy. After lunch you will visit an organic coffee farm and learn the harvesting process and how to prepare your coffee. Then drive for an hour to Hidroelectrica and walk for 3 hours to Aguas Calientes, arriving around 5pm.
Here we will have dinner at a local restaurant and spend the night in a hotel.
DAY 4: Machu Picchu (Lost City of the Incas) 4 hours
On our last day, we have to get up very early to prepare for the highlight of your Sacred Expeditions Peru, visiting Machu Picchu, the Lost City of the Incas. We will go directly to the line to wait for the first bus to Machu Picchu at 5:30 am. Upon arrival as the sky clears up we will climb with the amazing views of the city along the way. On a clear day, you can see the spectacular sunrise over Machu Picchu. This is truly an unforgettable sight. Your guide will take you on a comprehensive 2-3 hour tour of the city before dropping you off at Machu Picchu to explore on your own or climb Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain (tickets should be booked as far in advance as possible). Your guide will explain how to take the bus from Machu Picchu back to Aguas Calientes for lunch (not included) and then take
the train and bus back to Cusco. The Sacred Expeditions Peru team will meet you as you get off the train and return you safely to your hotel.
Included in the Salkantay Trek 4 days
Other walks after the Machu Picchu tour::
Huayna Picchu Mountain: The most famous mountain, it takes 2 hours round trip and must
be booked well in advance; 75.USD per person
Machu Picchu Mountain: The highest, and it takes 3 hours round trip, also called Machu
Picchu Mountain, needs to be reserved in advance; 75.USD per person
Salkantay Trek 4 days Packing List
When you sign up for the Salkantay Trek, you will be hiking Peru’s second most popular trek and most challenging trek to Machu Picchu. You will walk into the jungle from great heights. The terrain will change considerably in a matter of hours and due to the unpredictable weather the rains can take at any moment, so you must be prepared.
It is important to note that you will not be bringing all of your belongings on this trip.
You will only need to take the essentials for the 4-day trek and leave the rest of your luggage in Cusco. We will provide you with a duffel bag to put 7kg in; must include your sleeping bag and air mattress.
You will also have a backpack. You should always carry all your daily necessities with you when you go hiking. We recommend a maximum weight of 5 to 8 kg.
What will you put in the backpack?
What will you put in the suitcase?
On the first night of the Salkantay trek, the sleeping bag will freeze below 0 degrees Celsius; You will need a suitable sleeping bag that can withstand -10 degrees Celsius. You can bring your own or rent it from us.
Salkantay Trek 4 Days FAQs
What is Salkantay?
Salkantay is the second highest mountain in the Cusco region, at 6,271 m / 20,574 ft. It is located in the Vilcabamba mountains, 60 km northwest of Cusco in the central Andes of Peru. Salkantay means “wild mountain” and has been considered by the locals as a sacred god that controls the weather and fertility since the Inca era.
What is Salkantay Trek?
Salkantay’s proximity to Machu Picchu and ancient trails make it a perfect alternative route called the Salkantay Trek. This trek can be completed in a 4 or 5 day trek to Machu Picchu.
How long does Salkantay travel?
Salkantay Trek can be done in many ways, depending on the itinerary or operator you choose. The most popular trips are those of 4 and 5 days. Less than 4 days can bring great challenges, and trips of more than 5 days usually include Cusco city tours or Sacred Valley Tours.
Is the Salkantay trek worth it?
The Salkantay route is not only the most popular hiking route to Machu Picchu after the Inca Trail. This trek also provides various experiences for travelers, from high mountains with cold temperatures to a high jungle called “cloud forest”.
These extremely diverse landscapes will provide trekkers with exceptional opportunities to experience different landscapes, climates and have the opportunity to reach Machu Picchu before sunrise.
How high is Salkantay Trek?
It is important to note the difference between the 6,271 m / 20,574 ft Salkantay Mountain and the Salkantay Pass, located at 4,630 m / 15,190 ft.
How cold is the Salkantay trek?
How much does the Salkantay trek cost?
How to prepare for Salkantay Trek 4 days?
Is there a problem with altitude sickness? How to avoid altitude sickness?
Altitude sickness is real and can affect anyone, whether they are a professional hiker or not. Here are some suggestions to avoid altitude sickness: Arrive in Cusco at least 2 days before the trek; this will help you adjust to the altitude before the hike; In the first days you should do some activities without effort or not include a few hours of walking: we recommend that you take a walk through the city of Cusco, a tour of the Sacred Valley or Maras Moray.
You should avoid excursions such as the Seven Colors Mountain, which includes hiking at high altitudes.
Bring medication for heights such as Diamox or other medications recommended by your doctor.
During the first few days in Cusco, eat lightly and drink plenty of water. Coca tea will help you.
Where can I book the Salkantay Trek in Cusco?
Machu Picchu is the most important tourist destination in South America and Peru; we have limited access to this sanctuary. We have 2 train companies. The town of Aguas Calientes or Machu Picchu Pueblo is a small town that receives thousands of tourists. Keeping these factors in mind, you should always book your itinerary in advance.
Booking the tour as soon as possible will allow us to choose the best train schedule, the best hotel and the best admission time to Machu Picchu.
When is the best time to trek Salkantay and visit Machu Picchu?
The best time to hike Salkantay and visit Machu Picchu is from April to November, the dry season, April and November are “rainless” months and the weather is expected to increase.
January and February are the months to avoid this type of walk because it is the rainy season and there is a risk of landslides. During these months, we recommend that you do the Lares walk.
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